Sacred Harp Australia

Shape Note Resources & Singings ~ All Welcome

Upcoming Big Singings

15 July 2017 | Melbourne All Day

7 October 2017 | Sydney All Day
(followed by our regular singing on 8 Oct)

More details on the Sydney page

27-28 January 2018 | Australian Convention, Melbourne



Featured post

What’s this all about?

Kevin Barrans, a singer from Washington State in the US, provides an excellent overview of Sacred Harp Singing in this video from Seattle’s Art Zone.

New venue for Hobart

In 2017 the Tasmanian Shape Note Singers will be meeting on the 1st Sunday of the month in the historic St George’s Anglican Church HallBattery Point.

More information on the Hobart page.

Brisbane 2017 Singings Kick Off

Brisbane will hold its first 2017 singing session

Sunday 26th February, 2-5 p.m.

Upstairs hall of West End Uniting Church, corner of Vulture and Sussex St.

Ascend the stairs wiinding up the church exterior from the Sussex St passage-way.

Then take a deep breath, sip some Justice Products tea or coffee and SING LOUDLY!

Welcome, one and all.

Sacred Harp 8 Week Intensive: Canberra

The Canberra Shape Note Singers will be meeting for an eight week intensive on Wednesdays starting 1 February 2017.

David and Jean Rosenberg will be visiting from the USA and will help us learn this tradition as it is done in the USA where it is founded.

Venue: Friends Meeting House on the Corner of Bent and Condamine Streets, Turner, ACT
Time: 7:00- 9:00 pm

More details here.

Quote Note

The rich multicultural history of Protestant music, which absorbed in the folk styles of each region that was converted, is reflected in the repertory of the Sacred Harpers. There is the influence of John Calvin and the 1539 Genevan Psaltery and of the brilliant Scots psalmodists later in the sixteenth century, where unison and heterophony were fostered; of the musical reformers of the Anglican service; of the radical Methodists, like John and Charles Wesley, who brought many British folk and popular tunes into the hymnals by setting religious words to them; and, all-pervasive, of the Baptists, who led the way in the popular religious revivals in Britain and America and thus introduced many folk tunes and much folksy singing into the church.

From White Spirituals from the Sacred Harp, by Alan Lomax

Quote note

“At a point, in the peaking rush of all that harmony, with so many bold, rushing voices around me, it seemed that not just we, but the song itself began to sing! It seemed to just catch fire and burn across us.” — Buell Cobb, Like Cords Around My Heart

The hollow square

The hollow square ready to welcome singers at the  Dickson Street Space. By Meg Quinlisk (Sydney Shapenote Singers).
The hollow square ready to welcome singers at the Dickson Street Space. By Meg Quinlisk (Sydney Shapenote Singers).

Quote note

“Nothing is weirder than Sacred Harp. Its favored subject matter–the pilgrim, the grave, Christ’s blood–is stark; its style–severe fourths and otherworldly open fifths–has been obsolete for more than a century. Its notation, in which triangles, circles and squares indicate pitch, looks like cuneiform. Yet it exudes power and integrity. Five people sound like a choir; a dozen like a hundred.” — David Van Biema, Give Me That Old-Time Singing, Time Magazine 2008

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